Cockpit communication is a delicate thing. As passengers, we want to be kept in the loop, but too much information, a misplaced joke or a poor choice of words can lead to a white-knuckled experience. It’s reassuring when the captain’s voice crackles in the intercom to convey cruising altitude, expected arrival time and the weather, for example (do they teach them how to mumble in pilot school?). However, more alarming messages need to be handled with a little TLC so as not to panic the passengers. Here are some serious and not-so-serious examples of things you never want to hear from your pilot that have been reported by passengers. Have you heard any good ones yourself?
1. “Brace for impact”
You know things have gone horribly wrong if you hear an announcement like this. However, don’t lose faith. These were the words of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger before safely landing a US Airways flight on the Hudson River in 2009, saving everyone on board. To keep things in perspective, the odds of being in a plane crash are roughly 1 in 11 million. But if you get to the “brace for impact” stage, assume the position and hope you have a pilot like this at the controls.